Begging for It: Erotic Fantasies for Women

51vle-lgzdl-_sx331_bo1204203200_I’m super excited to announce that Begging for It: Erotic Fantasies for Women (edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, published by Cleis Press), is out now.

This amazing collection of quality erotica contains 21 stories by various authors in the genre (including myself, teehee!). My contribution is called Rediscovery, and it’s about a wife who finds a little something naughty while tidying up, which ends up changing her perception of herself and her (not always perfect) marriage.

I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s super hot and has all the feels. I’m sure you guys will love it, so go buy the book and read it for yourself!

FREEBIE! (Holding On, and the rest of Gratis)

gratis2-boxsetsmallThe day is finally here! Gratis : New Beginnings, an erotic story anthology I’ve been involved in is officially live. And the best bit is, the ebook is free.

Summary:

After the well-received Gratis: Midwinter Tales, published in December last year, familiar as well as new names present a hot-off-the-press collection of quality erotic literature to follow in its footsteps. Gratis: New Beginnings is a refreshing look at the as yet young year in all its glorious potential. Themes of rejuvenation, redemption and personal growth mingle with the tantalising imagery and intense emotion our existing readers are already familiar with.

Spring is a time perfect for falling in love or lust and the ten authors of Gratis: New Beginnings are keen to sweep you up in their erotic fantasies. This collection contains stories by Erzabet Bishop, M.J. Carey, Km Dylan, Jason Jaxx, Kay Jaybee, Livilla Sanders, Hedonist Six, Molly Synthia, Chloe Thurlow and Elizabeth Woodham.

My own contribution is something a little different, titled Holding On.

Five years as a sexchat operator have been more than enough for Charlotte. She can’t wait to leave it all behind: the late nights, the dirty talk and the mouthbreathers on the other end of the line.

But there’s a little hitch, a hiccup in her plan. There’s one client she would rather not quit talking to…

Download totally and utterly free of charge now:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | All Romance Ebooks | Smashwords | Google Play

Friday Filth 5

champions-siteThis Friday Filth teaser is from British Champions, the sequel to Ladies’ Day (so you might want to start there if you haven’t read it yet…)

“You’re special. Let me show you how special…” He peels my top off slowly, kissing any skin as soon as it’s exposed.

I smile at him, a little more reassured about our situation than before and completely ready for a good, hard reconciliation. When he makes me feel the way I do right now, how can I worry about what may or may not happen in future? Here and now, everything feels right.

With one hand in his hair, I try to guide him towards my nipple which so far he is carefully avoiding; kissing and teasing only the surrounding skin. I impatiently start unbuttoning his shirt before lifting myself and quickly taking my own top off too.

“In a hurry?” He grins, I just give him a look that says it all.

He leans on one arm and takes my wrist with his other hand. Before I know it, he pins first one arm back against the armrest of the sofa, and then the other. I’m helplessly spread and his appreciative gaze tells me he likes it this way.

“I want to touch you…” I beg.

He shakes his head and kisses me firmly, gathering both my hands together before I have the chance to regain my composure. His lips make me weak. I can’t take my eyes off his face but quickly get distracted when his free hand finds its way down between us, massaging my thighs from the outside in. Getting ever closer to where I really want to be touched.

I let out a moan and he leans in for a further taste. His tongue slips into my mouth the very moment his hand moves past the waistband of my pants.

“How wet you are,” he groans against my lips.

Friday Filth 4

Onenight2-siteIt’s only obvious that I’ve chosen Just for One Night to pick a teaser from for Friday Filth this week; Get your copy FREE from Amazon (US, UK) until Saturday 15th June!

A glint appears in his eyes and before I can wonder what he’s thinking he firmly grabs both my wrists. He turns onto his back and I’ve no choice but to be dragged along.

“You interrupted me last night, it’ll not happen again.” His deep voice is not one to argue with.

He lets go of my hands and instead lifts me up from under my armpits. My legs spread, surrounding him, but he’s not satisfied with me yet.

“Sit on me,” he says.

“But I already am…”

He shakes his head, dragging me upwards by hooking his hands through the bend of my knees. A smile forms on his lips when I begin to understand and crawl further upwards, finally ending up covering his face.

It wasn’t the drink that made this so amazing the first time around. He does know exactly what to do, but more than that it’s obvious he enjoys this as much as I do.

The moment his tongue reaches my clit I am positive that whatever happens between us, it’ll be a fun ride. I’m taken over by waves of pleasure, starting small like a little itch scratched in just the right manner, then growing in intensity.

Friday Filth 3

JAD4 ThumbnailIn honour of the release of Just Another Day at the Office IV, here’s a little teaser from it…

My return to our table is timed perfectly and there are no onlookers really when I appear next to John again. Bending down, I discreetly deposit the contents of my hand into his trouser pocket.

“I thought perhaps you’d like to carry a little something of mine with you to Germany,” I whisper in his ear, before sitting back down.

He still looks confused when he slips his hand into his pocket, but his expression immediately changes once he’s able to feel the soft lacey texture of my still skin-warm thong against his fingers. Before he’s able to say a word, the waiter arrives with the main course.

As expected after the promising starters, the food does not disappoint. My enjoyment is heightened by his intense stares which have become even darker now that I’m panty-less. Clearly he is having a very hard time keeping calm and has given up on small talk completely.

He cuts off the waiter as he asks about a dessert or cheese order and instead just requests the bill.

Friday Filth 2

Ladies day - tinyOh, well what do you know, it’s Friday. Time flies when you’re releasing stories… The below teaser is from Ladies’ Day.

“You’re so beautiful,” he whispers. The tense focus he has shown all along still obvious while he tenderly caresses my spent body. I know he must still seek release and I’m desperate to give it to him.

I force myself upright and to his surprise push him back and out of me.

“Your turn, baby,” I say, while dropping down on my knees in front of him. The cold gritty surface of the brick paving presses hard into my knees, but the pain feels surreal to me.

I grasp his balls and base of his shaft with one hand and lick along the bottom length of his cock. His taste mixed with my own, I softly open my mouth to let him in, testing my limits as I suck him clean. He looks down at me, his eyes widening and closing in turn every time I take him deep into my mouth, now firmly gripping his thighs to steady myself.

It is so obvious now that I’m concentrating purely on his pleasure that he has been holding back for quite a while. A real gentleman all the way, taking care of me before himself. But there is no more reason for that now.

Friday Filth 1

Onenight2-siteYes, yes I know. I’m way too inconsistent. Some time back I had planned to do a “Filthy Excerpt Thursday” feature and only managed to post one excerpt. Now fucked it up by posting a filthy excerpt on a Friday… Anyway, enjoy! A little teaser from Just for One Night.

I force myself to look again, not wanting to miss even a moment. Every movement of his, its sole purpose is seemingly to teach me that the tables are now turned. I had him where I wanted him when I was on top, but now it’s his turn.

Helpless, legs wrapped around his thick waist. We must look like quite a pair, hair flying wildly around us, tickling my nose. I drag his face down towards me and feel my chin getting raw from the scratching of his beard. Still I demand more kisses.

And he’s so good, so strong. I try to tell him, but it’s all just a mess of strained fragmented sounds. The intense look in his eyes tells me that he knows.

He fucks me harder and I feel my body reach new heights. Every muscle has a mind of its own, I spasm and contract and scream. But he keeps going and I’ve lost it.

Morning After II

This is only part of the story! Read The Job Interview, First Day at Work, At Last They Meet  and Morning After first to find out what happens before this.

I stretch a few times on the way to the kitchen, feeling quite pleased with myself indeed. He’s just there, in the bathroom. I can hear the shower switch on. He likes me! I can’t believe it. This is so much better than I had hoped for.

I know I told him I didn’t want to be with him while he’s on the rebound. But I was lying, mainly to myself. I would’ve happily taken any chance of being with him at all. I’m a slave to my emotions generally, but somehow even more so with him. I was desperate. Maybe because it had been a while since I had been with a man? No, that can’t be it. There was just something special about John. I don’t just have a crush on him. I have fallen in love.

I wonder what he likes for breakfast. I’ve never seen him eat any at the office. But who doesn’t like bacon and eggs. Quickly I clear the dirty dishes off the small breakfast bar; the only thing even resembling a dining table which could fit into this place. I hope he hasn’t noticed the mess. At least I remembered to tidy the bathroom when I went in just before him.

While the bacon is sizzling away, I go into the bedroom, rummaging through drawers that haven’t been opened in ages. I’m sure I’ve still got some of Greg’s old stuff in here somewhere, things he didn’t bother taking with him when he left. I wonder if it would make John uncomfortable to wear my ex’s old clothes? But then he didn’t exactly bring an overnight bag… I find some sweats and a t-shirt. They should fit, hopefully. After all, Greg was quite a big guy as well, but that is where the resemblance to John ends.

“Wow, that smells great,” John says. He looks so tempting, wearing the old and hugely over-sized dark blue bathrobe that I normally use when dyeing my hair. I’m just plating up the food but am severely distracted imagining what’s underneath that robe.

“Oh it’s nothing fancy,” I say as I turn back to face the counter again, “Tea or coffee?”

“Tea please,” John says.

“I’ve found some clothes, see if they fit. I figured you might want to wear something clean after that shower…” I say while busying myself with the tea a bit more than perhaps would be necessary. But the more I look at him in the bathrobe, the more I can feel my nipples poking through my t-shirt and a fuzzy, warm sensation building up in my lower abdomen.

It had taken a lot of effort for me to be decent last night. I had felt his warm breath against my lips, its rhythm building up faster and faster, his tongue feverishly seeking out mine. He had wanted me then. But I had to be sure that he had really wanted me and wasn’t just feeling horny generally. I had promised myself that I wouldn’t make that mistake again, giving myself to a guy too soon and ending up hurt in the process. And plus, even if I had been sure of that already, I would prefer him to remember every second of it.

No sooner that I put the tea on the bar, where the food is already waiting, does John come back in wearing the clothes I had found. If anything, they’re slightly loose on him but not by much. He looks delicious even so. I can’t take my eyes off him, checking him out from head to toe. I hope he doesn’t think I’m a total nympho.

We sit down at opposite ends of the bar, he seems a bit stiff, awkward.

“So whose are these then? They seem a bit, umm, big for you…” he asks.

“Oh, my ex left them behind.” I say, before taking a big bite of toast.

“Ah. Right.”

We eat quietly, every so often sneaking a look at each other. The food seems to be doing him good, he is starting to look more alert with every bite. But his eyes are tensing up more and more also, as though something is bothering him.

“More?” I ask, as soon as he’s emptied his plate.

“No, that’s ok. Thanks.” His eyes wander around the room, over the empty plates and back at me.

“Umm, I guess I should head home,” he says, his tone suggests it’s more a question than a statement.

“If you want to…” Please don’t go… “Do you have any plans this weekend?”

“Not really…” He answers.

“Well, you’re more than welcome to stay if you like. I haven’t got anything on either, I was just going to watch some films that I had recorded earlier. Or whatever you’d like to do…”

“Sure,” he says, sounding relieved. His expression has relaxed again and his eyes meet mine. We just stare, it feels like forever. I wonder if he can feel the same fluttering in his chest that I feel. The same ticklish sensation in his stomach, the magnetism between us, how my hands are just drawn towards him. Of course that’s why I’ve been extra touchy-feelie for weeks. I don’t do casual friendly gestures, little touches while walking by, I don’t even hug my friends. But I’ve been fighting the urge every day to throw myself at him. Why am I still fighting? I remind myself; he’s already here!

I slip off the bar stool, taking a step in his direction. His eyes have widened, and breathing sped up again. He swallows hard. What a sweetheart, so nervous, just like me.

But we can’t both be shy, I tell myself.

“I’ve been wanting to do this again so badly,” I breathe, my lips almost touching his, but I hold back. I need reassurance.

“Oh please,” he whispers back at me.

He smells of my soap mixed with clean laundry and bacon. And still this unmistakable scent holding it all together, him. I can’t hold back any longer and take his hands, putting them on my waist. I slide my hands up over his arms and pull myself towards him around his neck. His lips are as soft as I remember from last night. Just perfect. It feels like an electric shock releases the tension that had built up between us, we’re free now.

Kissing deeply and passionately, his strong arms around me once more. He gets off his stool as well bending down allowing me to reach better. He may have started off shy, but his kisses are determined. I can feel his need for me in his movements, his hands exploring the contours of my back, fingertips gently massaging my shoulder blades through my thin t-shirt, I slip my hands down between his arms so I can get around his waist as well, tugging at him to hold me tighter when he grabs me around the small of my waist, lifting me up and onto the bar stool. At last my face is exactly at his level. I put my arms around his neck again, running my fingers through his damp hair. And my legs open to allow him closer against me.

“You’re amazing,” I gasp at him. One of my hands slips down the back of his t-shirt caressing his smooth, soft skin, the other remains in his hair, playing and tugging softly.

“Liar,” he responds. I pull back and look into his deep amber eyes again. So innocent and naked, I can see that now his walls are down for me. I cover his cheek in kisses, travelling down his neck. His head and shoulders twitch, trapping me, but I keep on licking and sucking on the silky skin on his neck, underneath his ear and where his neck reaches his shoulder.

A groan escapes his lips and his hands freeze on my back, he’s rigid in my arms, clinging to me tightly.

“Stop, I can’t,” he says, gasping for air.

I release my hold on him and look him in the eyes.

“What’s wrong?” I ask.

“I can’t hold back,” he says, trying his best to avoid eye contact. Looks like the wall is back up.

“You don’t need to hold back.” I try, running my left hand through his hair again.

“I can’t do this, not yet,” he whispers.

His statement confuses me, I hadn’t foreseen anything like this.

“You don’t have to. There’s no rush,” I say softly, trying to hide my concern. I smile at him and give him a soft peck on his lips. “You choose, whatever you want to do and when. We can take things slowly.”  

Finally he looks back into my eyes, his relief is obvious. But I’m worried now, where did I go wrong? Maybe he is still too hung up on his ex after all.

“Thanks, I’m sorry about this…” His hand reaches up to caress my cheek with the back of his fingers. “I need you to know, it’s not you. I’m just… I want things to be perfect. This is a huge step for me.”

I swallow and blink a few times, studying his face. He seems genuine. I do hope he doesn’t think I’m a slut, making myself too available to him.

“Right. Well how about those films then…” I try to change the topic while slipping off the bar stool. He holds me back by my arm on my way towards the sofa.

“I meant it. It’s not you. I just never thought I’d end up here. I’m still sort of expecting that I’ll wake up alone in my own bed and this will all have been a dream,” he says. “I don’t want to fuck this up. I don’t want you to do anything you’ll regret.”

Regret, me? I shake my head in disbelief.

“Why would you fuck anything up?” I ask, eyebrows raised.

His face falls and he whispers: “I hardly know what I’m doing…”

Oh damn. He’s nervous! That I can understand, I’m not the most confident person either, sometimes just making a simple phone call can cause me to have a mild panic attack.

“Well, you could’ve fooled me.” I smile at him.

I hand him the remote while we sit down on the sofa.

“You pick, I’ve not seen any of them yet.”

I purposefully sit extra close to him, even though there is plenty of space. He presses play and the movie starts, but I’m not even aware which one it is. His warmth right next to me, the memory of our kiss, it all adds up to make me painfully aware of even the slightest movement or sound. His breathing is calmer than before, but he’s still tense, sitting straight with his hand on his thigh.

I fold my legs underneath me, and while I wiggle back into the plush sofa, brushing against his leg, his arm twitches and he starts holding his breath. Then he raises his arm and puts it around me. I don’t hesitate to move closer against him and rest my head on his shoulder. I can hear him sigh. Why is he so very nervous though?

I turn towards him and find his other arm, holding him tight. That was all the encouragement he needed. I’m engulfed in his embrace, pressing myself tightly against his chest. His heartbeat is rapid, in tune with the eerie background music of the film we’re not really watching.

I can feel his breath against my hair, it tickles slightly, making me even more on edge. But I can be patient for him, I tell myself. With my eyes closed I try to focus on my breathing, slowly and deeply. It’s not really working…

“Why?” His voice interrupts my attempts at relaxing myself.

“Why what?” I ask, unwilling to get up from his embrace.

“This. You, me…” he hesitates.

“I don’t understand. Why not?” I respond.

“I just never had anyone interested in me like that before…” he says, his voice trembling slightly.

“I thought… What about your ex?” I lie, worrying that it would be too embarrassing to reveal that I already heard too much of that story from the girls in the office.

“She lied.” He swallows hard. “She never even kissed me once like you have. I should’ve seen it but I just thought it was all I could hope for. When she left, she told me it was all just pretend. Then, I’ve already told you, about her and my brother… When she left I thought I’d lost my only chance to be with someone.”

“That’s why you’ve been upset, even before you found out about them,” I say, holding him tighter.

“Initially. Until you came along and then I couldn’t stop wondering, what if…” His voice is almost a whisper now. His gentle kisses burn through my hair, on top of my head and neck.

“She must be crazy,” I say. I lift my head and am overwhelmed by the sadness in his eyes.

“How could she do that to you.” Holding his face in my hands I kiss him on the lips. My whole being aches to make him see that there is another way.

“And before her?” I ask in between kisses.

“Nothing before her. I wasn’t exactly popular growing up. Girls weren’t interested. In school they only spoke to me to be introduced to my brother, same thing at uni…” The way he says it, suggests he doesn’t think much of his brother at all.

“Oh well, I can understand that. School was pretty similar for me.” He starts kissing me back before I even finish the sentence.

“Umm, last night, you said it was like being 15 all over again. What did you mean?” I ask.

He hesitates before answering.

“Oh, that.” He averts his eyes from mine. “I liked one of the girls in my class then. She seemed nice, had only just joined the school that term. The others used to call me names but she never did. Then a few weeks later one of the others told me that this girl liked me and wanted to be my date for the upcoming school dance but was too shy to say something herself. In the end it was just a set-up, a joke. They were all in on it.”

“Oh shit, I’m so sorry,” I whisper, pressing my cheek against his and putting my arms around his neck.

“Nevermind, that was a long time ago. But,” he takes a deep breath. “I still don’t understand why you like me.”

“What’s there not to like? You’re kind, caring, honest, have a great sense of humour, you’re really smart -” I start.

“None of that explains why you would want me as anything other than a friend,” he interrupts me.

“You’re strong, and don’t seem to care what people think, loyal, I feel like I could trust you with anything…” I continue.

He shakes his head. “Hold on. Take a good look at me and back at yourself. Why would YOU want to be with a guy like me? You could have anyone, Richard has been-”

“Don’t start about him, he’s uber-creepy! Never in a million years, would I ever consider…” Just thinking about him makes my skin crawl, I shudder instead of finishing that sentence.

John just looks at me with an amused glint in his eyes and a smile playing on his lips.

“Ha, you really hate him, don’t you!”

“Is it that obvious?” I ask, grinning back at him.

“My point still stands though, why would you ever like a guy like me?” he asks.

“I thought I had just made it clear that you do appear to be quite a catch.” I innocently bat my eyelashes.

“You know what I mean… look at you, you’re absolutely stunning and I’m…” He gestures down at himself, it’s obvious where this is going.

“You’re a big guy, so what? I don’t mind,” I respond. Sweetheart you have no idea how much I don’t mind.

“You’re odd.” He sighs and pulls me back into his arms. “But I’m glad for it.”

The movie is still on, preparing for its climactic finish where the main character stabs everyone in a wild frenzy using a huge kitchen knife.

“Which movie was this anyway?” I ask as the credits roll. He just laughs in response.

At last, he sounds happy, at ease. I cuddle up even closer. God knows just being this close to John has me all hot and bothered. But at the same time it’s a revelation how amazing it is to just sit here, enjoying each other’s company and innocent affections. Where did all these feelings come from in such a short time? I’ve never fallen this hard for anyone.

“Oh, shit. That Christmas do, that’s tonight isn’t it?” I remember.

“Umm yeah, a fairly stupid day for it if you ask me. Were you thinking of going?” he responds.

“Well, I thought, with me being the new girl and all, maybe I should show face for a bit…”

“Oh. Yeah I guess,” he says.

“You weren’t going to?” I ask.

He shrugs.

“Well, I was sort of hoping you’d be my date… I mean if you feel like it.” I say.

“What, officially? Like you want to be open about it?” He sounds surprised.

“Unless it makes you uncomfortable.”

“Me? Hell no. You do realise people will talk,” he says.

“Where would Sharon and her gang be without fresh gossip.” I smile at him.

“Richard will be pissed,” he remarks.

“That’s his problem then.”

We sit quietly for another minute or so.

“You are serious, aren’t you?” John asks.

“About?”

“You really don’t care what they’ll say?” He still sounds unsure.

“I don’t even like any of them. Out of everyone in office, I’ve only ever cared about what you think of me. It wouldn’t cause you any trouble I hope?” I ask.

“No, no trouble. This is just unexpected, that’s all.” He shakes his head a few times. “I still don’t know what I ever did to get you to like me.”

“I have an idea what you can do now to get me to like you even better,” I say with a naughty smile. I move back and lie against the armrest of the empty half of the sofa, motioning him to come closer. He does until he is right on top of me, on all fours.

“Kiss me again!” I whisper. His eyes darken as he rests on his elbows either side of me, our bodies pressed together and his lips on mine. I’m sandwiched between the sofa and his soft bulk, I’m so excited I can barely breathe while kissing him hungrily.

He stops and starts to lift himself off me.

“I’m sorry, I’m crushing you..”

But I don’t let him go and pull him into me once more.

“You’re not,” I gasp, “I love this.”

It doesn’t take much to convince him and our mouths merge, tongues entwined, in the most mind blowing kiss I have ever experienced. For someone who’s supposedly not had a lot of practice, he sure knows how to kiss. My fingertips run up his arms simultaneously, teasing against his bare skin under the sleeves of his t-shirt, up to his shoulders and over his shoulder blades. His skin so smooth and flawless I wish I could taste it.

I can feel him shudder under my every touch, involuntarily grinding up against me. His arousal blatantly obvious, pressing rock hard into my thigh. I was already breathless and now he has reached a similar state, his lips finding my neck, impatiently kissing and sucking in between ragged breaths. I writhe underneath him, rubbing my thigh against his hard cock. He moans into my ear, with such a deep, sexy voice.

“Ohh, I can’t…” he stops mid sentence, while I just hang on to him, feeling every single muscle in his back tense up together underneath my fingertips. I lift myself up as far as I can manage. He starts to twitch and shudder, and I just hold on, biting softly into his neck, enjoying the primal last groan that escapes his lips before he sinks into me, slowly relaxing all over, pinning me into the sofa cushion under his full weight.

“Shit, I’m so sorry,” he finally manages after catching his breath.
“Shh,” I say, “that was so hot! Best kiss, ever.” My hands are still under his shirt, caressing his back, circling over his shoulders.

He has moved down a little bit, his face pressed into my chest. I take one hand out of his shirt and put my whole arm around him further up over his shoulder, causing him to nuzzle underneath, hiding. He sighs deeply before speaking again.

“This is what I was worried about, that I’d lose it.”

I lift up my head to reach him, kissing him on his hair.

“This is what I had been hoping for, dreaming of. Letting go is not a bad thing. Every sound, every movement you made showed me that you want me as much as I want you.”

He remains silent, taking slower and deeper breaths. Finally he lifts up one arm and takes my hand, kissing my knuckles and putting it over the side of his head, covering his eyes.

“You are a bit odd indeed,” he sighs again.

I can’t suppress a smile and respond: “Well, odd or not. You’re stuck with me now.”

This story has now been published as Just Another Day at the Office – part one.

Morning After

This is only part of the story! Read The Job Interview, First Day at Work and At Last They Meet first to find out what happens before this.

Ow my head. I wake up in a daze. Blinking a few times before the room gets into focus. This place does not look familiar at all. A TV, Xbox and a stack of DVDs at eye height in a dark teak finish cabinet with a bunch of black candles in a holder on top. This is definitely someone’s living room, but whose and how did I get here. I try to move, my head feels like it weighs a ton. Wherever I have fallen asleep last night, it’s warm, comfortable. And moving?!

I lift myself up and come face to face with the most beautiful thing ever. Cath’s eyes are still closed but she’s stretching. Well no wonder, she must be totally numb after having me fall asleep on her lap for… Well, not sure for how long.

She blinks a few times and smiles at me.

“Morning,” she says.

I’m dumbfounded and just stare at her. This can’t be real, am I even awake?

“Umm, do you remember anything?”

I shake my head, slowly, trying not to upset my sense of balance too much.

“You came by last night, I guess you found my note after having a bit much to drink…”

Flashes of last night are coming back to me, god how embarrassing. I was pretty angry and vaguely recall yelling at her. I rub the side of my head with my finger tips.

“Oh fuck. I actually said all those things? I’m so sorry…” I whisper, with my head in my hands.
I just sit still trying to remember what else happened when I feel her warm hand momentarily burning into my shoulder. My only hope of trying to disguise the fact that even the slightest touch forces my heartbeat into overdrive is to just hold my breath.

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll be right back,” she says while getting up.

I’m so deep in thought again that I only barely hear the door opening and closing behind me, followed by the sound of running water.

After I accused her of messing me about, what did she say? She was crying, I definitely remember that. Shit I made her cry, I’m such an idiot! And then… she came closer and held me, and… I wish I knew whether I’m remembering last night or a dream.

“No it can’t be…”

“What can’t be?” she says. 

I hadn’t even noticed her coming back in. She sits down next to me again, legs folded and facing me. The thin fabric of her t-shirt clings around her just enough to show off her perfect, bra-less body. I force myself to look at her face instead, I wonder why she bothers with make up usually, she’s so beautiful even after just waking up.

“Did we…” I start, not daring to finish the question.

She gives me a wicked smile and says; “What are you hoping that we did?”

I feel blood rushing into my face and just stare at her speechless.

“OK, I’m being unfair,” she lets out a giggle, “we kissed. That’s it. I wouldn’t want to be accused of taking advantage of you while you’re out of it.”

Her face turns serious. “But I need you to be honest. If you don’t feel the same way about me after sobering up, and it was all a silly mistake…”

I’m just shocked. She kissed me. All these images in my head, they’re real, no dream. I can hardly catch my breath. What does it mean? Maybe she was just trying to get me to calm down, after all I was really riled up and might have scared her coming here like that.

She continues, “Look, I was being honest last night. I have wanted you all this time. But it seemed like you weren’t interested and I didn’t want to come off all desperate. I wanted a real chance…”

I’ve got so many questions, I don’t know where to begin.

“Why..”

“I didn’t want to be your rebound girl. I want you to like me for me…” She looks gorgeous even with that worried frown on her face, or perhaps even more so because of it. 

It makes no sense to me, she is worried I wouldn’t like her. That she’d be a stand in for Julie. It’s laughable. I just don’t know what to say, none of this makes any sense. But the longer I stay quiet, the worse she’ll feel. I should reach out, make her understand that she has never been the problem.

I hold my breath again and force my hand forward, running my fingertips over her cheek, before putting my other hand on her shoulder. The moment I pull her towards me ever so slightly, she falls into my arms as though that’s where she’s wanted to be all along.

How did I do this? She’s the kindest person I’ve ever met, way out of my league in every way. And she’s hiding her face in my chest, when all I’ve ever done was be grumpy and horrible to her. I yelled at her last night, for what? For being nice to me when noone else even bothers to be polite, for trying to flirt with me. What a moron I am.

“I’m sorry,” I say finally, “I’ve been such a moody git all along. You didn’t deserve any of it.”

I hold her tighter, pressing my face into her soft hair. Her scent is intoxicating. She feels so small in my embrace, so fragile. She has let her defenses down in front of me, it’s obvious that this isn’t just an act. And anyway, why would it be when there is no audience. It’s only the both of us.

“Sure, I’ve been upset over Julie, but things changed the moment you walked into the office on your first day. You’ve been all I could think. I could hardly bear sitting next to you, I thought if I ignored you…” I say, “maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much that I couldn’t have you.”

She pulls back and looks at me, her eyelashes sticky with the remnants of tears as she blinks a few times.

“Well you have me now,” she says. A smile appears on her lips. She looks like an angel when she smiles.

“Are you hungry?” And smart as well.

“Yeah, but you don’t need to make a fuss…” I get up, looking for the bathroom. Luckily there aren’t many doors to choose from and the first I try happens to be the correct one.

I take one look at myself in the mirror and the same feeling of shock from before hits me again. I look and smell like I’ve been hit by an off-license delivery truck. Ugh, and I’ve just had my dream girl pressed into my chest, without showing the slightest hint of disgust. In fact it would seem she rather enjoyed it. Maybe she has a cold and her sense of smell is impaired.

I feel surprisingly OK after last night though, not the same terrible hangovers I’ve been having at work lately. The cold water feels so refreshing against my face.

There’s a knock on the door.

“Fresh towels are in the cupboard if you need them… and you’re welcome to use the bathrobe hanging on the hook behind the door.” Alright, so perhaps she doesn’t have a cold after all. Awkward.

Move on to Morning After II.